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Two Uzbek Troops Seriously Wounded In Fighting Near Tashkent

Tashkent, 30 March 2004 (RFE/RL) -- Two special police from Uzbekistan's Interior Ministry forces were reported seriously wounded in fighting with a group of suspected terrorists about 15 kilometers northeast of Tashkent today.

Reports say Interior Ministry police have surrounded a group of alleged terrorists in an apartment building in the Kibraiskii region, on the road between the presidential palace and Tashkent.

The fighting has delayed a planned national television address by President Islam Karimov, who was due to speak about attacks on 28-29 March that the government has blamed on Islamic extremists.

There are unconfirmed reports that a minivan exploded near the Charvak reservoir, in Uzbekistan's Bostonlyk region, also northeast from Tashkent.

So far, at least 19 people were killed and nearly 30 others wounded in alleged terrorist acts or counterstrikes by police in the Bukhara and Tashkent areas.

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